Fantastic Fossils (Fossil Fondue)

While this resource shows that it was developed for middle school, it is a great resource for teaching 5th grade fossils.  Students learn about fossils — what they are, how they are formed, and why scientists and engineers care about them. The best part of the lesson is an activity using chocolate to create fossils of plastic toys. In this lesson plan, students learn about fossils u2014 what they are, how they are formed, and why scientists and engineers care about them.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
GLE 0507.5.2
Analyze fossils to demonstrate the connection between organisms and environments that existed in the past and those that currently exist.
GLE 0507.T/E.4
Recognize the connection between scientific advances, new knowledge, and the availability of new tools and technologies.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

After this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Define fossil.
  • Describe how fossils are formed.
  • Explain why engineers might study fossils.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 
  • Arrange a field trip to a natural history museum so students can see examples of fossils.
  • If you live near a dinosaur dig or other historical dig area, arrange a field trip to a dig site. With advance reservations, some sites allow students to participate in the dig.
  • Scientists who study fossils are called paleontologists. Have students research what a paleontologist does and give an oral presentation, "A Day in the Life of a Paleontologist."
  • Ask students to research magnetic resonance imaging, computer-assisted tomography, and mass spectrometry, reporting back to the class a description of what these tools do for us.